After the successful Ocean conference at the Porto Business School last week, Arnold Delville, General Manager of the Ireland Portugal Business Network, was invited to visit CEiiA, Centre of Engineering and Product Development based in Matosinhos and Blue Insight, which specializes in marine autonomous robotics and is developing a portfolio of solutions to drive sustainable economic value from healthy oceans. Blue Insight is a spin-off of the CEiiA.
The projects they are working on are mind-blowing and show the high-tech and engineering expertise Portugal is developing in these emerging sectors. Here are the major ones which the IPBN will be followed up on.
CEiiA is a Centre of Engineering and Product Development that designs, implements, and operates innovative products and systems, alongside its partners, for high-tech industries, such as aeronautics, automotive, smart mobility, oceans, and space. Our Vision is to “Establish Portugal as a reference within the transportation and mobility industries, particularly in the development of technologies, products, and systems, conceived, industrialized and operated from Portugal.”
The development of an offshore subsea fish cage for the aquaculture cultivation of salmon at a depth of 60 meters has been successfully executed. This endeavor encompassed the design, construction, and implementation of anchor systems, buoyancy components, and mooring arrangements, all of which were integral to the sustained operation of the subaquatic aquaculture facility.
This project represented a pioneering pilot initiative in the field of offshore aquaculture, strategically situated in Portuguese waters, approximately 10 nautical miles off the coast of Aveiro city. It was custom-tailored to meet the specific operational requirements of one of Portugal's leading retail enterprises."
Meanwhile, Blue Insight is a single point access to data, information and services over the ocean. Blue Insight Technologies started in late 2022 and has invested heavily in technology development. According to their website, "We are already in the market with key players and scheduled demos. We are a young, motivated team with the right expertise to achieve a more sustainable ocean."
Currently their products include Atlantis: a machine built for deep-sea observation and exploration, The ORCA Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV), which is a multipurpose unmanned vehicle designed to be a complete and cost-effective solution for unmanned data acquisition in coastal and sheltered waters, and finally, the Maanta Towed Tagging Devices. These enable non-intrusive, low-impact, timed deployments on sea animals, such as Manta Rays and Sharks. The MAANTA tags are capable of recording video footage and transmitting by satellite link a diversity of animal behavior and habitat parameters, including depth, global position, temperature, and activity, among many others.
Moderated by former Chair of the IPBN Aoife Healy, the second panel focused on "How to Tackle and Create Disruption in the Hospitality Sector." In the words of panelist Sofia Almeida, the overall takeaway is that “We have to adapt. And COVID was proof of that.”
Panel one of the Agri Business Review will be moderated by IPBN member Brian Shanahan and will feature experts in the field including André Menitra Matos of Vila Vita Parc, Nuno Neto of the Navigator Company, John Paul Prior of Farmony, and Filipa Almeida of Herdade dos Grous.